June 26, 2015

Celebrate!


Finally, a reason to celebrate! What's the occasion? No, it's not a birthday. Instead, it's the fun of using a favorite image from the Occasions Found Relatives photo pack to make this card.

It all started with Simon's Monday blog challenge where this week's theme is stamp and mist.  I'm not a big fan of the spray inks mainly because my workspace just won't accommodate the messiness so I used an eye dropper and made splatters on a black background with diluted white paint instead.

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It kind of looked like a party so I grabbed this very appropriate photo. It took a while to fussy-cut but the job was made easier by peeling off the backing so it wasn't as thick. I stamped the border and sentiment and added some dots.

Check out this close-up--the kid was caught making a grab for cake (his expression doesn't fool me).

June 23, 2015

View Finder


I misplaced a very useful, home-made tool today and had to make another one. I thought I'd share the idea as you may find it useful too!

I call it a view finder and in the example above, I've placed it over a paper with a random design to see what might look best and where I should cut it.



It's made from a transparent sheet of plastic (I used a printer transparency but clear plastic packaging would also work).

I drew lines on the plastic in the exact dimensions of my tag with a permanent marker.

But it could be any size.

Maybe you make a lot of 4" x 6" cards or work with a particular size of canvas panel.

Just draw lines for the dimensions you need.

I find having a neutral border really helpful so I place masking tape around the edges next to the lines.

Scrapbook papers with many design areas can make deciding what section to use a bit difficult.

So I just use my handy-dandy view finder and play around with all the possibilities and, when I find the right spot, I know just where to cut.

Besides framing the view, this tool is good for holding small bits in place while you make up your mind where to place them permanently.

I'd love to hear from you if you decide to make one--let me know what you think!

Observations


Do you ever have this nagging feeling that you want to be creative amd make something but you just can't get started, you don't know what to do and you lack direction?

That's been my dilemma lately, it appears my muse has taken a vacation and some say when that happens, the best thing you can do is just show up and begin without her.

So I hoped that making this tag (an exercise in image transfer) would help and I suppose it did.

My paying job was always fraught with pressure and deadlines and some say they work better under these conditions. It's hard to accept but I think this may also be true for me.

June 17, 2015

Lady Huron

Liquitex light modeling paste, Distress clear rock candy crackle paint and shiny black Scribbles were the mediums used to link this tag to Simon's Monday blog challenge where this week's theme is cleverly named don't cut, just paste.

I haven't combined a paste layer with crackle medium before but it worked out well here because it created a uniformly flat surface for pasting on collage elements.

Let me explain.

First, I took a plain manila tag and covered it with several layers of victorian velvet Distress stain to get a rich, dark background.

Then I used a Prima damask stencil and modeling paste which absorbed some of the stain, tinting it to a lighter shade of pink.


Next came the crackle paint which I applied with a palette knife. It settled into the recessed areas of the damask at a perfect thickness for crackling and was enhanced by working in thinned-out white acrylic paint after it dried.

The banner was cut from scrapbook paper and distressed to match the photo. The black, dimensional dots applied to the photo and tag borders were applied using a 3D paint called Scribbles.

Why Lady Huron? She was named in honor of new music I listened to while making this tag. The CD, titled Strange Trails, by a group called Lord Huron was very inspirational and I had to give due credit!

June 09, 2015

Happy Day

I never realized how much I love
(and miss) plants until I moved
to the desert.

I know I've said it before
but I'll say it again.

I miss green.
I miss my garden, I miss grass.
I miss Spring and Fall.

Living where it never gets cold
was not a good trade and,
if I could, I would move
in a heartbeat.


But for now, I will embrace my cactus (avoiding the thorns) and make art to channel my passion for all things green. Since Simon's Monday blog challenge this week is for the love of plants, I've created this tag to celebrate.


It was an opportunity to use a stamp set I just found at a local rummage sale (without its packaging so I can't credit the maker) and an unusual technique which you may want to try.

I began by stamping and clear embossing the images on a plain manila tag then staining it (liberally) with Distress.

After removing the embossing with an iron and some newsprint (see resist technique step-out and links to tutorials here), I colored the designs with gel pens and a water brush.

I've posted about this painterly process before, here's the link.

I think the stamp design worked well with this technique and it has a kind of batik-like appearance. It was fun to try and I did end up having a happy day making it. My inner-crank about all things desert has disappeared (for now). Thanks Simon!

June 06, 2015

Royalty


One of my favorite pursuits in childhood was playing dress-up. Grandmother gave my three sisters and I many gowns and high-heeled shoes to play with and there was no end to the performances we would put on. The backyard picnic table was our stage.

Those are the memories inspired by the making of this tag which I'm linking to the Monday blog challenge at Simon where this week's theme is royal.

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An altered photo and a bit of stamping on a background from the Wallflower paper stash is how I put this one together.

The tint came from colored pencils but I also used a touch of white from a Gelly Roll pen and a bit of Distress ink.

The hardest part?

Making a teeny-tiny crown for the kitty cat!

Tea Zen


The day I discovered the Irish Breakfast variety and learned to add a spot of cream to it, was the day I fell in love with tea. Mind you, I still take in my two or three cups of Joe every morning but there's something about an afternoon tea break that's every bit as satisfying.

So here's my tribute to favorite beverages inspired by this month's 12 Tags of 2015 by Tim Holtz.

The stripes on the bottom-half were created with a hand-made stamp and acrylic paint.

The top half was stamped with an image from Stampers Anonymous called Math Border using Ranger's cobalt archival ink.

The paper bits were cut from Tim's new paper release called Correspondence.

The tiny teacup is another Tim Holtz stamp from a set called Tiny Things that was cut from paper along with a teapot (maker unknown) and tinted with Distress inks.

I used Picket Fence Distress stain to lighten-up several areas and created shadows with a colored pencil.

I added a bit of burlap ribbon for accent along with some Remant Rubs text and used a white Gelly Roll pen to bring out highlights on the flower in the foreground.

I tried to create a sense of depth by using larger images in the foreground along with light and dark colors (value) and diagonal stripes. This bit of "fooling the eye" is a challenge I really enjoy. Along with my favorite hot beverages, of course!